ACDP not in favour of lowering exam pass marks in lower grades

Media Release
Cheryllyn Dudley, MP and Whip
 

  • “Students in higher grades have a better chance of passing if they have been challenged and encouraged to aim higher in their early years” – says Cheryllyn Dudley

The Department of Basic Education has started a process of consultation on proposed amendments to pass requirements for pupils in grades 1 to 9, which would see mathematics removed as a compulsory pass requirement.

These proposals are to align pass requirements with that of grades 10 to 12.

ACDP Member of Parliament Cheryllyn Dudley said in response that, “The ACDP is not in favour of lowering exam pass marks in lower grades as students in higher grades have a better chance of passing if they have been challenged and encouraged to aim higher in their early years.  It is also better for a younger child to redo a year if they have not grasped the concepts. Understanding the work gives learners a greater chance of success in later years.”

When pass marks were introduced for grades 10 to 12 in 2014, those for lower grades were not adjusted, department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said, and that had an adverse affect on pupils.

Pass requirements for pupils in grades 10 to 12 are: 40% in three subjects, one of which is an official language at home language level; and 30% in three subjects.

Proposed amendments, for grades 7 to 9, are:

– Pass four subjects at 40%, one of which is a home language.

– Pass any other four subjects at 30%; and

– Maths removed as a compulsory promotion requirement.

“The promotion requirements are not aligned with the National Senior Certificate (matric) promotion requirements, which is the national benchmark.

“The department will now embark on a broad consultation process with educationalists, assessment experts, higher education institutions, parents and members of the public, on the amendments to the foundation, intermediate and senior phase promotion requirements”, Mhlanga said.